6 Secrets to a Stunning Laundry Room

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The humble laundry room – although vital to the function of a household – has a reputation for being bland, dingy and tucked away in a basement or closet. 

You don’t have to settle for an area that’s simply where you keep the washer and dryer, though. Your laundry room can be as comfortable as your living room and as welcoming as your kitchen. Try these six tips from professional interior designers to make your laundry room beautiful and efficient.

1. Double Duty

The top priority of any laundry room is to launder your family’s clothing. However, to get the most out of the space you want to make it multifunctional.

“A laundry is best if it can kill two birds with one stone. So I always like to put my laundry rooms in mudrooms,” says Shane Inman, president and senior principal designer of The Inman Company in New York City. “It’s really nice if you have a lot of kids. All of those dirty clothes, shoes, everything can be stripped off and put right in the wash.”

Other double-duty ideas for your laundry room include a dog-washing station, crafting room, pantry or just an extra storage area.

2. Find the Best Washer & Dryer To Suit Your Needs

Your washer and dryer are the crown jewels of your laundry room, so don’t settle for second best. When shopping for the perfect pair keep in mind factors such as performance, energy efficiency, noise and capacity. Front-loading machines are popular choices for saving space (they’re stackable) and easing body strain (you don’t have to dive for your clothes).

Consumer Report’s 2015 top picks for washers and dryers pairs included models from Samsung, LG and Kenmore.

If you want to keep your laundry room environmentally friendly and keep utilities in check, look for models with the Energy Star mark, which signifies certification by the EPA.

3. Make it Motivating

Between washing, drying, hanging and ironing, you spend a lot of time in your laundry room so why not make the experience as scenic and enjoyable as possible?

“I believe that you can make a laundry room fun and inviting,” says Feather Nolan, designer for Daft Interiors and Design Quartet at Ravinia in Highland Park, Illinois.

“Make the space inviting and the task with be performed with more enthusiasm.”

Nolan suggests brightening a room with a cheerful coat of paint or bold colored cabinets. Whether it’s a sleek modern, sunny cottage or calming beach aesthetic, pick a design that turns laundry from a daunting task to a pleasant one.

4. Leave No Space Unused

Since laundry rooms come in all kinds of sizes from cavernous basements to hall closets that you have to squeeze your washer and dryer into, it’s crucial to make the most of your space.

Both Inman and Nolan stress the importance of storage to help your laundry room live up to its full potential.

“Use every inch of the space. You can customize storage to be built-to size for the space,” Nolan says.

“Spaces such, as the sides of the washer and dryer can have small skinny shelves for things such as dryer sheet boxes.”

Nolan also recommends putting rods over sinks to drip dry clothes.

5. Splurge for Durability

It’s the nature of laundry rooms to cause messes. Between dirty laundry, cleaning products and plenty of water you want to protect the surfaces of your beautifully designed laundry room.

When choosing the materials to create your dream laundry room, pay special attention to surfaces like the countertops, floor and surface finishes. The key is finding the right style that will last for years to come and stand up to wear and tear.

“There are many materials that look similar, but vary in cost. However don’t sacrifice easy maintenance or durability for cost,” Nolan says. “In the long run you will save more if you spend properly the 1st time around.”

6. Don’t Forget These Must-Have’s

Although the washer and dryer are the stars, other details can really make or break the function of your laundry room.

Inman’s must-have item is a deep sink that allows you to properly soak garments without splashing water all over the counter. He also suggests finding an ironing board you can easily store to avoid cluttering the room.

Other necessities include baskets for easy storage or sorting, a place for hangers and roll-away shelves.

“Homeowners should consider space relevance for tasks being performed,” Nolan says. “You want to make sure there is ample room for folding, hanging, and storage for everyday use items, such as soap containers and dryer sheets.  Baskets or roll-out shelves are a great way to remove items.”

Tags: laundry room, style, function